Managing food intake can be a challenge for everyone who works at home, whether as a virtual employee, an entrepreneur, stay-at-home parent, or retiree. Many more people have experienced this during the nearly two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. The “pandemic 15” (or 20) became the descriptor of the pounds that crept onto many of our frames, tightening our waistbands and expanding our muffin tops.
There are countless resources for weight loss, healthy meals, and increasing our physical activity. Here I will focus on a couple of simple strategies – increasing water intake and managing food intake with easy, healthy snacks for between meals and in the evening.
Focusing on our water intake and minimizing the consumption of high-sugar beverages is a simple strategy that has multiple benefits. We need a minimum intake of 8 to 10 8-ounce glasses of water daily. Our bodies need water to function optimally. This includes our immune system and cognitive function. The water also fills us up and makes us less vulnerable to overeating.
Here are some ways to increase your water intake every day.
- Drink Water Before Every Meal, Snack and Cup of Coffee or Other Beverage
- Make Infused Water – It adds flavor and may make drinking more appealing. The simplest way is to add wedges of lemon or lime to your water after squeezing some of the juice into your glass. You can also experiment with fruits, vegetables and herbs to find flavors that you especially enjoy. Read more about doing this here: https://carolbrusegar.com/infused-water-for-health/
- Choose a Cup or Bottle You Love to Use – It’s not just appearance, but functionality. You want it to be easy to hold onto while walking. When you drive, you want it to fit perfectly in your cup holder. Depending on your activities, you may want other features. For example, if you bike, you may want a tight lid, but one that is easy to pop off when drinking while riding. You also want the size that contains the amount of water that you need.
- Limit Other Drinks You Consume – You can still consume juice or soda occasionally but get in the habit of going first for water when thirsty.
- Dilute Juice When You Have It – If you add 4 ounces of water to 8 ounces of juice, you are adding to your day’s water intake as well as reducing your calories, carbs and sugar for that drink.
- Enjoy Fruits and Veggies With High Water Content – More on this below.
- Try Some Water Drinking Reminders Throughout Your Day – If you get into the habit of drinking a glass of water in connection with things you regularly do, you won’t forget to drink enough water. For example, drink a glass of water:
- Before every meal, snack and other beverage as mentioned earlier
- When you wake up
- Before or after walking or workouts
- After every trip to the bathroom
- Every time you enter your office or home
Snacks Between Meals And In The Evening
Working at home means there is food within a short walk from our workspace. Managing our food intake is more of a challenge since it’s so easy to access snacks. You can easily justify the snack as a break to clear your head, a palliative when you are stressed, or a simple craving that’s simple to satisfy by grabbing a favorite treat. We can meet those needs and avoid unhealthy options by planning ahead and choosing from options like these:
- Raw veggies – cucumbers, mini carrots, celery, radishes, broccoli, bell peppers (red ones have the highest nutritional value), cauliflower, grape or cherry tomatoes. Wash, cut and store ahead of time so they are as easy to grab as chips, crackers or cookies.
- Fresh fruit – apples, pears, bananas, berries, cherries, kiwi, melons. Again, have them ready to grab if possible.
- To add protein, consider cream cheese on cucumbers, celery or peppers or peanut butter on apples or celery. Or dip veggies in guacamole or hummus. The taste boost these provide can make them a treat.
- Other protein snacks include cheese, nuts, hard-boiled eggs, healthy beef jerky or beef sticks which are satisfying and filling.
- Olives and sun-dried tomatoes are additional options, along with air-popped popcorn which offers fiber.
Together, high consumption of water and managing our food intake between meals and in the evening can help us be healthier and control our weight when working at home. Exploring new options and combinations can be an adventure and give us greater satisfaction than focusing on what we can’t or shouldn’t consume.
Get started on this path by adding the snacks you want now to your grocery list and exploring the Infused Water Pitcher options available. These pitchers allow you to experiment with various combinations of flavors of water. Find one that appeals to you here: Infused Water Pitchers
I’m Carol Brusegar, author, photographer and curator of information. My focus is on gathering and writing on topics that enhance all our lives – regardless of our age. Topics include health and wellness, personal development, innovation and creativity, and a variety of helpful, practical tools and practices. I have a special interest in helping people over 50 years of age to create their 3rd Age – the next stage of their lives – to be the best it can be.